30th September 2021 – 12:11pm
Currently is taking place the Valorant Game Changers EMEA. This parallel tournament is part of the official Valorant Champions Tour and aims to create an inclusive environment for female esports players and fans.
The initiative started at the spring of 2021. in the United States and has met with some success there, where the various tournaments have helped to give female players a real chance on the esports scene. Indeed, they have pushed many historical organisations to recruit women's teams. In addition to the major tournaments, smaller tournaments, the Game Changers Academy, have also been set up. Riot Games is therefore trying to export this format to the old continent.
On this occasion, we wanted to give the floor to Chipsette, FPS player and competitor at heart, to tell us more about her background, her experience as a player and her ambitions on Valorant. She has already participated in the Game Changers qualifiers with her team Unranked and was one game away to participate in the playoffs.
Mandatory – How long have you been playing FPS?
Chipsette: I started when I was a kid because of my brother and my friends. We used to play LANs in the basement of my father's house. We played Unreal Tournament, my first FPS, released in 1999. It was a real hit when I was 10/11 years old!
Mandatory – What do you like about Valorant?
This might sound weird to some, but I'm very sensitive to the world of a game. I really like the lore, the music, the colourful graphics and a lot of other things that Riot incorporates very well into their games. So I was very excited that they were launching a FPS. However, I hadn't played any games similar to Valorant (with angle management etc...) so I wasn't sure if I would like the gameplay yet. I was lucky enough to get access to the beta early enough to test it and since then, I've never stopped playing it!
Mandatory – Have you ever felt discriminated against on Valorant because you are a woman?
Chipsette: I think you have to distinguish two things. Those who, because of a lack of mental strength, start insulting their female teammates by hitting them where it hurts. In this case, I think we are affected as women as much as men. Mind you, this doesn't mean that Riot Games shouldn't punish such behaviour.
On the other hand, yes, I have experienced pure discrimination on Valorant, and unfortunately, more often than on other games I used to play before. For example, now, when I get to the agent selection, I don't talk anymore. Why? Simply because, one time, I pre-selected my agent and I had the misfortune to say "Hello!" a little too early. Then, one of the players instalocked Jett and said "No way, you're a woman, you won't play entry, go back to the kitchen".
Mandatory – How do you deal with toxic behaviour towards you?
Chipsette : I always react differently to toxic behaviour. I know that I should just mute them, but it's not like me to let it happen. If a player is toxic because I played badly, I'll mute them and not react so I can refocus on my gameplay. If I'm faced with a sexist insult, I usually respond with a cutting remark while remaining calm (that's when I'm not tired). Otherwise, I admit that I can occasionally have trouble containing myself and get angry. I'm human!
Mandatory – What do you think of initiatives like the VCT Game Changers?
Chipsette: I'm very happy with this initiative. I think it's necessary because it will allow some girls to participate in an official tournament and to discover new gems. They might now have dared to participate in a classic tournament.
Mandatory – Do you think they are sufficient for the moment?
Chipsette: That seems like a good enough initiative to me, I don't know of a better project than a tournament to promote women in esports. I hope that the search for female rosters by other big organisations will happen in time thanks to the VCT Game Changers.
Mandatory – What's your experience of the competitive scene?
Chipsette: I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the Open Tour twice with my former women's team, it was an amazing experience! But not being a professional player, I don't have much experience on the competitive scene. However, I was able to participate in showmatches and friendly tournaments, which was a real pleasure! With the announcement of the VCT Game Changers, my competitive soul had to recreate a small team just for the occasion. This is my first women's tournament. By the bye, tonight, there's a training session!
Mandatory – Is it difficult to find teammates willing to participate in tournaments?
Chipsette: With Valorant just over a year old, it's still difficult to find teammates to create a strong team. Finding players who are willing to participate in a tournament is not complicated in itself. The hardest part is that they have the role we are looking for, the same expectations, motivation and above all that we all get along, and believe me, all this together, it's quite complicated.
Mandatory – How do you feel about the evolution of women in esports?
Chipsette: I'm very happy that Valorant is investing in women's esports! It's bound to make things evolve in a positive way. I feel like there are more and more mixed cast/host in France. I still remember the first one of Laure Valée (Bulii) who, with a lot of courage and perseverance, became a model for many of us. Some associations and companies are working hard for gender equality in the esports world and I think their work is incredible: WIG (Women In Games), Vitality, O'Gaming, 1pv and many others! I hope that with this kind of initiatives, the place of women in video games will be more and more normalised.